The only feature that's original to our kitchen, besides the fir floors, is the pie safe California Cooler (including its Shaker style cabinet doors). When we gutted the kitchen that lazy summer day...it was all that remained.
We loved its antique charm. When we told our cabinet maker we wanted to keep the pie safe California Cooler intact, he abhorred the idea, truly amazed we'd want to keep such a thing. We asked him to build the new cabinets to match.
This is the top cabinet. It is located to the left of the sink counter...you can see a smidgen of one of my bread boards leaning against it.
This is the lower cabinet.
Other than a fresh coat of paint, I just scrubbed each rack (they're removable) with warm soapy water....
...and moved in.
This old pie safe California Cooler is our food pantry. So far, it's served us just fine. Our beans, grains and pastas, flour and baking groceries, and other dry goods, are housed in the lazy susan - which is to the right of the kitchen sink.
Thank you Tamara for sending me information on the California Cooler! The information I read was so fascinating and is absolutely what it is. There was a vent at the top, which led outside, as well as a vent in the bottom floor of the cabinet (which you can see the patch from).
Go herefor more information on California Coolers! And thanks again Tamara!
What I find fascinating about anonymous portraits is the imaginary life we create for those captured for but a moment in time. I've often wondered about the woman in this portrait.
I imagined her to be the eldest daughter of three, living on a grand estate and wearing beautiful dresses. I wondered if she was happy and if she lived a long life. I hoped so.
Romona, a library acquisitions assistant, wrote me recently after coming across a familiar face. She traced the familiarity back to the post I did on the woman in the portrait...it was, indeed, the same woman. Her name was Enrica Soma, the mother of actress Angelica Huston.
On June 9, 1947 she was featured on the cover of Life magazine, identified only as "Young Ballerina." She was the fourth wife of famed director John Huston. Shortly thereafter, she became the mother to three children. A son named Tony, a daughter Angelica and her sister, Allegra.
Many years later in Italy, while driving to her father's house for the holiday, she died in a car accident. She was just 39 years old.
Her youngest daughter Allegra, who was four years old at the time of her mother's death, has written a memoir called Lovechild.
Of course, I see the portrait differently now. Knowing more about the woman behind the face is bittersweet. She did not live a long life as I imagined, or hoped. In fact, she died at my age.
But despite the tragedy that greeted her in her young life, I find myself with an even deeper respect and appreciation for her grace, her beauty and her mystery. And in this portrait, it is the life she lived passionately as a ballerina, and her beauty and presence as a mother, that endures.
This pear orchard is adjacent to our property. I took these pictures last spring. It's one of my favorite orchards to visit not only because they are our neighbor, but because the trees are old and offer the most captivating canopy of blossoms, which eventually unfold into leaves, and then to fruit.
I can already smell summer.
This is a favorite barn of mine. It's tucked away behind the pear trees just pleading to be explored.
Despite the mix of cool spring showers with our sporadic spring sunshine, we're slowly inching our way towards warmer days. So much so that I removed our woolens from the hall tree and replaced them with wicker, straw and jute.
White tulips from Hubby.
Here's the other side of the entry. The light through the window offers a bright welcome.
So far, I've only planted a small handful of bulbs in the yard. Every year I say that I will plant hundreds, yet every year slips by me. This year...
Hopefully, this post will inspire me to follow through. There's nothing lovelier than the elegant welcome of these lovely ladies at our gate. This variety is from Van Bloem Gardens and is called 'Triumph.'